Opinion by Richard Baird.
DomésticoShop is online retailer of designer homewear which has grown to become the leader in the Spanish market. It stocks an array of items, from furniture and kitchenwear to textiles and lighting. To coincide with the launch of Doméstico’s concept store DomésticoMarket, and the opening of a new flagship store in Barcelona, the retailer worked with Mucho to revise its brand architecture and visual expression. This included a new wordmark, a graphic identity of modern colour and form, and material assets that included bags, stickers, tags and signage.
A quick bit of research revealed a somewhat dated retail experience, something close to a warehouse, and a visual identity, a green sale star with a solid D inside, to match. Although not particularly compelling this felt like a response to a predominantly online-driven business, one of functionality rather than the personable.
The new approach, a combination of simple image building, pattern, warm colour and type, is a huge improvement and a memorable change. This is given further value as it is linked to broader strategic evolution of brand which sees it take more pride in its physical space through its new flagship and concept spaces.
Wordmark is current in its type choice with some slightly unusual details. The wide M and T and the solid semi-circle diacritic give it a touch of character amongst its geometric shapes and monolinear lines. The M and the T work well to bring an element of balance to the visual weight and asymmetry of the diacritic.
The heart of Doméstico’s graphic identity is a simple and ubiquitous semi-circle device that forms the diacritic above the é and establishes a basic unit that is expanded out to generate different visual languages and representations depending on structure and arrangement.
The semi-circle as diacritic is an interesting approach. It takes ownership of something that is said to be difficult in online contexts. The focus on physical spaces, where previously an e-tailer first, gives this something of a conceptual weight.
DomésticoShop and DomésticoMarket are united by a play with form, yet are diveded in their arrangements, with the former employing simple grid-based layouts and sense of pattern, and the latter working with vertical structure, something that calls to mind stacked plates. Although abstract, leverage an element of association, be that the modularity and style of modern furniture and homewear, or the good design for everyone call to action of the modernists.
The approach effectively employs some basic graphic design principles, alongside abstraction but association, that include repetition, a personable warmth and modernity in colour and type, visual impact and distinction from a distance, and clear continuity between different assets.
Colour is a highlight. It is modern, warm and distinctive in the case of DomésticoShop, while DomésticoMarket employs something of a more familiar and crafted quality in the pairing of kraft paper and a white ink. Other neat details include stickers, using the corner to create semi-circles and the semi-circles to denote discounts online. Although website falls short in terms of continuity, the investment in concept and flagship stores are well-served by this new system, with plenty of room for a variety of visual expressions and the leveraging of association. More work by Mucho on BP&O.
What do you think of Mucho’s graphic identity for DomésticoShop? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or get the conversation started on Twitter. Never want to miss a post? Sign up to BP&O’s once-weekly newsletter here.